Post-Game Grades: Pacers Ball Gawk Their Way to a Loss in Minnesota
The Pacers are on the edge. The edge of what, I couldn’t tell you. I don’t know if they’re on the verge of figuring it out, or falling off a cliff.
At some point in time, you have to assume they’re going to get something more productive from players like Paul George, Roy Hibbert, or Gerald Green. The early losses this season – including tonight – have included a significant amount of self-inflicted harm. If they can just survive the growing pains, they’ll come out the other side all right.
The Pacers have been staying competitive through a combination of decent defense, weak opponents, George Hill’s aggressiveness, and David West’s mile-wide mean streak. Losers of three straight and four of six, the strain is beginning to build.
The demands being placed on Paul George and Roy Hibbert are not only hurting the team, short-term, but could threaten those two players long-term. The bench has no answers, and with no Danny Granger for three months, a tipping point is coming fast.
The truth is probably somewhere in between and far from both, but that’s boring, so let’s ignore it.
In any case, the Pacers lost in Minnesota on Friday night. The proximate cause was Gerald Green losing track of Chase Budinger to allow Minny’s game winner. The root cause was allowing 17 third quarter free throw attempts and 12-of-19 fourth quarter shooting.
Indiana’s 2-4, and they’re coming home to face the Wizards. That’s about the most positive thing I can come up with at the moment.
|David West, PF 37 MIN | 8-16 FG | 3-4 FT | 13 REB | 1 AST | 19 PTS | +8
Gave up a couple key buckets to Pekovic, but generally has continued his beastly ways. Like Hill, he has ratcheted up his game in Granger’s absence.
|Sam Young, SF 11 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -7
Didn’t do any serious damage. Hard to believe the Pacers aren’t looking for a better option in Howard or Pietrus.
| Paul George, SF35 MIN | 4-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 11 PTS | -2
He’s just not ready for what the Pacers are asking him to do right now.
|Roy Hibbert, C 28 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | 0
|George Hill, PG 35 MIN | 11-17 FG | 5-5 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 29 PTS | +4
Should probably get dinged for being one of three weakside Pacers caught ball-gawking on the losing play, but that would probably drop him from an A++ to his current grade. Are you kidding me with that game-tying three?
|Tyler Hansbrough, PF 21 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 PTS | -7
Was part of the unit that let the Pacers climb back into it in the fourth, had a couple of impressive disruptions on defense.
|Gerald Green, SF 30 MIN | 2-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +1
Despite his shooting, Gerald did some good things tonight. All of which were erased by his ball-gawking on Minny’s game-winner. Completely lost track of Buddinger. Unforgivable.
|Ian Mahinmi, C 10 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -8
Incredibly sloppy with the ball, generally not having any positive impact.
|D.J. Augustin, PG 13 MIN | 0-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | -3
I don’t know how to say it, other than Augustin simply looks broken. He’s tentative, and he looks like he expects to miss every shot he takes. Have to believe Vogel is starting to wonder how much longer to stick with him.
|Lance Stephenson, SG 20 MIN | 4-5 FG | 3 AST | 9 PTS | +4
Another solid game from Lance, beginning to round out offensively. Still a bit sketchy defensively and feels on the ragged edge a lot, but he’s establishing himself as a contributing rotation player.